SodaStream Leaves West Bank: A Success for BDS

In late October home carbonation machine manufacturer SodaStream announced the decision to close its West Bank factory in an illegal Jewish settlement. SodaStream has been a major focus of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) movement to pressure Israel to end the occupation and oppression of Palestinians. A company spokesperson said the decision was based on business reasons unrelated to the boycott. The evidence indicates otherwise: At the time of the announcement, stock prices had fallen 58% and profits 42% in 2014. Macy’s dropped the product and high-profile investor George Soros sold his stake in the company.

Welcoming Immigrants: Strangers and Friends

The Rev. Kelly Allen, chair of the Mission Presbytery (South Texas) Immigration Task Force, talked of how churches in Texas are cooperating with other local agencies to respond to the surge of children and families fleeing violence in Central America, and the Rev. Linda Eastwood, a PPF National Committee member who worships with a New Sanctuary Movement congregation in Chicago, told stories and shared ways for congregations around the country to advocate for immigration reform and to protect immigrants facing deportation.

A Great Thanksgiving For Communities of Peace

Following the closing worship of the Annual Meeting of the Presbyterian National Committee, I was given an opportunity over lunch to expound in conversation upon one of my favorite subjects: the sacrament of Holy Communion. "Participation in the feast doesn't require our intellectual agreement with all that it signifies, nor is our invitation contingent on assuming any particular identity, least of all a Christian one," I said, "because the ritual bears witness to a unity which is deeper than, and comes prior to, any of those conceits. You and I are one at a cellular, even atomic level.

75 Years of Support for Conscientious Objectors

[Guest Post] The Center on Conscience & War is busier than we have been in recent memory. Thanks in no small part to the steadfast and generous support of the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship, we have been working steadily to increase our outreach efforts, making it possible for so many soldiers of conscience to find us and get the technical support they need to succeed in achieving discharge from the military.

Churches Denounce Refugee Detention and Create Bond Fund

A diverse group of congregational leaders held a press conference on October 23 in front of Immigration Courts in San Antonio to denounce the federal government's policy of labeling young refugee women and children as "threats to national security" and to announce the creation of a Bond Fund to help release families from detention.